Chicago in 2022 Frequently Asked Questions – June 2020

General

What dates are you bidding for?
September 1-5, 2022 (Labor Day Weekend in the U.S.)
What is your proposed convention host city? Is your convention site in a city center location or a suburb? If a suburb, what are the transport options into the city centre? How far is the site from the city centre?
Chicago, Illinois, United States. Our site is in the city center.
What are your main facilities? How far are your hotels from your main venue?
We will be at the Hyatt Regency Chicago in downtown Chicago, the site of the four most recent Chicago Worldcons. The facility is an all-in-one with the hotel and convention center in the same buildings.
Should we require overflow hotels, the Hyatt is part of The Millennium Park Connection, which includes the Fairmont, Swissotel, and Radisson Blu hotels.
Who is your bid chair? Who is on your committee? What experience do they have in general? In running Worldcons?
The bid co-chairs are Helen Montgomery and Dave McCarty.
  • Helen has worked on multiple Worldcons in various roles, including Vice Chair (2012), Chair’s Advisor (2011), Division Head (2008, 2014, 2019), and Convention Center Liaison (2013). She has been the Chair’s Advisor for two NASFiCs (2014, 2017). She has also worked on her home convention, Capricon, since 2000 in a variety of roles, including Chair (2009, 2010), Board member, and Board President.
  • Dave has also worked on multiple Worldcons, including Chair (2012), Division Head (2007), and Hugo Administrator (2013, 2016, 2018). He has also worked on his home convention, Capricon, since 1999 in a variety of roles, including Chair (1999, 2000, 2004) and as a member of the Board of Directors.
  • The current Bid Committee members (i.e. voting members of the corporation, having paid bid dues) are: Helen Montgomery, Dave McCarty, Tom Veal, RJ Johnson, Ben Yalow, Kerry Kuhn, Barb vanTilburg, Brian Nisbet, Ann Marie Rudolph, Sandra Levy, Bill Thomasson, David Hirsch, Pam Burr, Gary Agin, Jason Spitzer, Leane Verhulst, Chris Rose, James Bacon, Gadi Evron, Doug Killings, David Abzug, and Siobhan Murphy.
  • The Corporate Board of Directors are: Helen Montgomery, Dave McCarty, Sandra Levy, Barbara vanTilburg, Gary Agin, Bill Thomasson, and Siobhan Murphy.
    • President of the Board: Dave McCarty
    • Board Secretary: Jason Spitzer
    • Treasurer: Shirley McKinzey
If known, who will be the chair of the convention? What experience do they have?
Helen Montgomery will be the chair of the convention. Please see above for experience.
Have you agreed to participate in Pass-Along Funds? Would you be willing to increase the percentage from 50% to 70% of surplus?
We will participate in Pass-Along Funds. The Board of Directors for the corporation will consider the increase.

Travel

What is the typical current airfare to your closest airport from world cities such as London, Boston,  Los Angeles, Tokyo, Melbourne etc ?
Based on Expedia searches done in August 2018 for June 2019:
  • Auckland: $1380-$1900 (1-2 stops)
  • Boston: $190-$300 (nonstop available)
  • Chicago: FREE!!!
  • Dallas: $350-$430 (nonstop available)
  • Dublin: $480-$1000+ (nonstop available)
  • Helsinki: $660-$860 (nonstop available)
  • London: $375-$670 (nonstop available)
  • Los Angeles:  $355-$370 (nonstop available)
  • Melbourne: $1260-$2000 (1-2 stops)
We also looked in June 2020 for April 2021 on Expedia (as far forward as we could choose), and the prices generally are a bit lower. Hard to say how they will be affected long-term by the pandemic travel restrictions.
Do international flights, as well as domestic, fly into your local airport? Which airlines? If not, where is the closest international airport? Are direct flights from the cities above flown into your local airport?
Most major carriers, both domestic and international, can be found at O’Hare, with the exception of Southwest, which has their hub at Midway.  O’Hare is a hub for both American Airlines and United Airlines.
How far is your convention site from the nearest airport/train station and what is the likely cost of getting to the hotels by both public transport and taxi from that airport/train station?
There are multiple transportation options.

The Hyatt has transportation options on their site: https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/illinois/hyatt-regency-chicago/chirc/maps-parking-transportation

Union Station (Amtrak train) and Greyhound (Bus) are both downtown. Union Station is 1.5 miles from the Hyatt. The Greyhound Station is 2 miles from the Hyatt. There are public transportation options to the Hyatt from both stations. Example linked below. Both airports have extensive public transportation options to downtown Chicago. https://www.flychicago.com/midway/tofrom/publictransit/pages/default.aspx

Information on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) fares can be found here: https://www.transitchicago.com/fares/

Facilities

What hotel(s) are being used for the convention? How many rooms, what type, do they accommodate accessibility needs, etc.?
We will be held in the Hyatt Regency Chicago.  The hotel has 2,032 sleeping rooms which includes 123 suites of various sizes.  The standard guest rooms are primarily a mix of king beds, double/doubles, deluxe queen/queen, with a few additional layouts.

There are 98 ADA Accessible rooms, with both King and Queen/Queen beds available.
What are your hotel room rates? Do these rates include breakfast? Do they include internet access in the room? How firm are these rates? What additional taxes and fees are there?
The firm sleeping rooms rate is $160/night for single/double/triple/quad.  Breakfast is not a standard amenity in the United States and is not a part of the rate.  Internet access is complimentary in the guest rooms.  There are no additional fees.  The current standard tax rate is 17.39% for hotels downtown.
Rollaway beds can be furnished for some rooms for a one-time charge of $25.
What does parking cost at your main hotels?
We will have a 50% discount off 2022 prevailing parking rates. Currently the valet rate is $73/day including in/out privileges.  There are lots available within 2 blocks of the hotel with cheaper rates, such as one currently that has 5 day parking available for $90/total. Currently, many parking apps are available in Chicago to allow people to find the best possible deals.
What is the distance from the nearest door of your main hotel(s) to the closest entrance of the convention site? What are the transportation options for those who prefer not to walk or who have mobility difficulties?
The hotel and convention center are one site.
Where will your large events (i.e. Hugo Ceremony and Masquerade) be held?
We anticipate that they will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt. The Grand Ballroom is over 24,000 sq. ft and can seat approximately 2400 people theatre style. During Chicon 7 in 2012, we also had overflow seating to watch the livestream in one of the other large ballrooms and would anticipate doing the same this time.
Please describe the restaurant scene near your site.
Chicago is a world-class city for restaurants. Choose Chicago has a decent website to explore your options. https://www.choosechicago.com/things-to-do/find-restaurants/ Using that website alone, there are over 100 restaurants in the Loop and Magnificent Mile neighborhoods closest to the hotel.

Within the Hyatt itself, there are five places for dining/drinks: Stetson’s Modern Steak & Sushi, American Craft Kitchen and Bar (in the lobby), The Living Room (lounge), BIG Bar, and Market Chicago (grab and go, 24 hours a day).

https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/illinois/hyatt-regency-chicago/chirc/dining
What arrangements will be made for evening socialising and party space? Do you have a corkage waiver?
Evening socializing will happen on designated floors in one tower of the hotel, primarily making use of suites.  The convention has arranged a corkage and forkage waiver for all the socializing.
Please describe the policies / laws regarding smoking in your hotel(s), convention centre, and city.
The Hyatt Regency Chicago is a non-smoking facility.  There are designated smoking areas outside of the hotel. Chicago’s Clean Indoor Air Ordinance prohibits smoking, including e-cigarettes, in virtually all indoor spaces. For more details: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/bacp/supp_info/cleanindoorairordiance.html
Given the current pandemic, have you considered any arrangements have been made for social distancing and the health and safety of members?  If you have, can you describe what your current plans are?
We are still looking at the impact of the pandemic on our plans.

Miscellaneous

What type of weather can we expect during your convention? What is the average temperature during that time of year?
Average temperatures are generally between 63-82F / 17-28C. It might rain occasionally but it’s usually pretty nice over Labor Day Weekend.
What are some of the main tourist attractions of your city?
  • Museums – The Art Institute of Chicago, The Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum of Natural History, Museum of Contemporary Art, and The Museum of Science and Industry to name a few.
  • Parks – Millennium Park and Grant Park (home to Buckingham Fountain) are both downtown.  Both have several free music festivals and other events during the summer. The Chicago Jazz Festival is held in Millennium Park over Labor Day Weekend.
  • Arts – There are several Broadway-quality theaters in downtown, and dozens throughout the city as a whole.  Orchestra Hall, home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is downtown, as is the Lyric Opera.
  • Sports – during the summer, there are opportunities to see the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox (baseball) and the Chicago Fire and Chicago Red Stars (soccer).
  • And more!  Too much to name here.
Are you planning to have any membership discounts for certain demographic groups, such as young adults, military, or seniors?
TBD. We are discussing these options as we begin putting together an initial budget. We are definitely planning to have a Family Plan and to offer an Installment Plan. Details for these are also still TBD.
Do you have a code of conduct? If so, is it available online and if so, where?
We are working to finalize our Code of Conduct. The general Code of Conduct will cover all activities until the convention itself, and there will be an additional section that will cover the actual convention. It will be available on our website once finalized.
What changes or challenges do you expect the current pandemic to present?
We do not yet have a good idea of the state of the world in 2022.  The challenge that presents is that we have to remain flexible in our planning to make sure that we are protecting the health and safety of our members as required by the state of the world we are faced with then.
Have you planned for a virtual component to your convention?
We are considering virtual options for the convention, but as stated above, it’s too early to say for sure what will happen.
What is a notable aspect of your local fan culture and how do you plan to incorporate it into your Worldcon?
Chicago has a huge fannish culture. In addition to the two large literary-based conventions (Capricon and Windycon), there are two large comic-cons, Midwest Furfest, Anime Central, and many online groups to promote fannish activity (one of the longer running ones, Chicago Nerd Social Club, has nearly 5000 members).

Our hope is to incorporate aspects from all of Chicago’s fannish areas. Additionally, we look forward to incorporating traditions and ideas from other Midwest fannish groups.

Also, the party scene at Chicago conventions is amazing. That will definitely be a thing at a Chicago Worldcon.